It was a decidedly average run of results on Saturday for Hemel Hempstead’s sides, with a win, a draw and two defeats.
What could be termed as a derby between two sides in close geographic proximity ended up as a draw with hosts Hemel 1st XI and Leverstock Green 1st XI taking almost similar points from the encounter.
Levy won the toss and batted, scoring 238-7 from their 53 overs.
Given the recent hot and dry weather, Hemel knew their Heath Park wicket and the slow bowling of Parth Mehta (1-56), Lewis Hodgins (1-68) and Nick Hodgins (5-60) bowled 42 of the overs.
Kris Jadeja top scored for Levy with 49 before he became the third of Nick Hodgins’ five victims.
After losing Tom Elborn (23) after 13 overs in Hemel’s reply, a lot of hope was based on Lewis Hodgins. He was striking the ball hard and cleanly until the 20th over. With the score on 75, he went for one big hit too many and was caught in the deep by Lewis Koch for 43.
Batting incentive went on to Neil Morgan (80). He tried hard but Hemel were always behind the clock in their search for runs.
The scores ended after 47 overs with Hemel on 219 - 8, 20 runs short of victory.
The spoils saw 17 points go to Hemel and 18 to Levy.
This Saturday the 1st XI are at home again, entertaining Stevenage.
It’s always been a tough away fixture for Hemel II against Luton Town II in the past and the prospect was even more daunting this year as Luton have won all three of their home games at Wardown Park so far this term.
Hemel won the toss and batted first but were soon worn down in the run scoring department. They were 56-4 after 20 overs and reduced to 79-5 after 30. John Clulow (32) managed to hit the team’s highest score at the top end of the batting line-up and Jack Doodson managed a fine 38 coming in at number nine.
Other double-figure scores came from Anjam Khan (18), Ryan Bell (16) and Aaron Wilson (14). They ended on 151 all out which was never going to be enough.
To their credit Hemel managed to keep a rein on Luton so they at least needed 50 overs to chase the target. They only had a couple of overs to spare at the end but they did have the wickets in hand as they reached 152-4.
Wickets for Hemel went to Anjam Khan (3-37) from 15 overs and Suren Perera (1-32 from ten.
There was heartache for Hemel III when, after a narrow three-run win last week, they managed to lose Saturday’s game on the last ball of the match at Shenley Village II.
Tight bowling by Martin Botha (2-33) from 15 overs and Matt Scears (3-43) from 11 had kept Shenley down to 177-8.
In Hemel’s innings, Graham Clark led from the top with 48, Ed Canham chipped in with 37 and Scott Radcliffe (29) and Tony Beamish (21) kept the side afloat.
But from 152-5, Hemel managed to lose their next five wickets for just four runs to Shenley bowler Jiten Savani who ended up with 5-46.
He trapped Alfie Bordoley lbw with the last ball of the game to skittle Hemel for 156 all out.
There was delirium for Hemel IV as they got their second win of the season against Hatfield Hyde II on the Heath Park Nursery Ground.
The victory also lifted them off the foot of the Division 9A league table.
Two big scores of 57 from Paul ‘Bruiser’ Smith and 48 from Mike Samuels helped the Hemel cause.
Kaushika Ruwangalia added 25 and Nic Benson chipped in with 18 as Hemel reached 231 all out. It wasn’t a huge score for the Nursery pitch but certainly defendable.
And defend it they did, with the bowlers coming through. Rahul Kedia (4-50), Nic Benson (3-24) and Vinnie Liddar (2 - 20) helped Hemel contain Hatfield to 112 all out for a 119 -run victory.
Meanwhile, there was a great Father’s Day present for Nick Hodgins (Hodgie 1) on Sunday when he played with his sons Lewis (Hodgie 2) and Will (Hodgie 3) in Hemel’s tight Herts Trophy victory on the road against St Albans West Indian.
It came down to the wire at Greenwood Park, with Hemel winning by just nine runs.
Hemel won the toss and elected to bat but their innings started disastrously as they slipped to 11-3. They were able to pull it back to 92-6 but then lost the last four wickets for just five runs to finish on 97 all out.
Tom Waterton and Anjam Khan top scored with 20 runs.
Although it was a modest total to chase, Hemel’s bowling attack did well and pegged the Windies to 49-7. The hosts recovered to 88-8 but then lost their last two wickets.
Anjam Khan took 2-15 to go with his runs, Nick Hodgins grabbed 3-17 from his ten overs and Lewis Hodgie snaffled 2-14 from his 10.
It was the economy that was needed when defending such a small total.
In the next round of the cup, the quarter-final on Sunday, July 16, Hemel will be at home against either Parkfield & Headstone or Shenley Village.